Texas School Book Depository
|Texas School Book Depository|
Dallas County Administration Building in 2005, formerly the Texas School Book Depository
|Former names||Southern Rock Island Plow Company
Texas School Book Depository
|Alternative names||Dallas County Administration Building
The Sixth Floor Museum
|Architectural style||Romanesque Revival|
|Location||West End Historic District|
|Town or city||Dallas, Texas|
|Elevation||139 m (455 ft.)|
|Structural system||B-Reinforced Concrete Frame Piers|
|Floor area||10,000 sq. ft. (929 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Main contractor||Rock Island Plow Company|
|The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza|
The Texas School Book Depository (now the Dallas County Administration Building) is the former name of a seven-floor building facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas (U.S.). Located on the northwest corner of Elm and North Houston Streets, at the western end of downtown Dallas, its address is 411 Elm Street. The building is notable for its connection to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. According to three United States government investigations, an employee in the building, Lee Harvey Oswald, fatally shot the president from a sixth floor window on the southeast corner. The case, however, was never adjudicated in the jurisdiction in which it occurred, owing in part to the death of the accused assassin. The structure is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
Early history 
The site of the building was originally owned by John Neely Bryan. During the 1880s, Maxime Guillot operated a wagon shop on the property. In 1894, the Rock Island Plow Company bought the land, and four years later constructed a five story building for the Southern Rock Island Plow Company. In 1901, the building was hit by lightning and nearly burned to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1903 in the Commercial Romanesque Revival Style, and expanded to seven stories. The land was bought in 1937 by D. Harold Byrd, who by 1963 had leased it to the Texas School Book Depository.
Kennedy assassination 
In 1963 the building was in use as a multi-floor warehouse for the storage of school textbooks and related materials and an order-fulfillment center by a private business of the same name. On November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old former U.S. Marine who was working as a holiday-rush temporary employee at the building, allegedly fired the shots that killed the 35th President of the United States John F. Kennedy. The conclusion of law enforcement, including the Dallas Police and the FBI, and later two government investigations over the span of 30 years, including the Presidentially-appointed Warren Commission, was that Oswald was the assassin.
Second building 
In addition to its building at Elm and Houston, the Texas School Book Depository Company maintained a second warehouse at 1917 Houston. Several blocks north of the main building, the short four-story structure was well removed from the parade route, half-hidden on an unpaved section of Houston. Oswald's supervisor, Roy Truly, told the Warren Commission that he had had the option to assign Oswald to either building on his first day at work. "I might have sent Oswald to work [there]... Oswald and another fellow reported for work on the same day [October 15] and I needed one of them for the depository building. I picked Oswald." This second building was eventually destroyed to make way for the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
Later years 
For years, a large billboard with digital clock/temperature display was mounted on the roof. Its main advertisement was for the Hertz car rental company. A second ad reading CHEVROLETS (later replaced with FORDS as shown in the first photo below) was placed under the digital display. The billboard was removed in 1978, and re-mounted briefly in 1991 for the film JFK.
The Texas School Book Depository Company moved out in 1970 and the building was sold at auction to Aubrey Mayhew, a Nashville, Tennessee music producer and collector of Kennedy memorabilia, by the owner D. H. Byrd. In 1972, ownership reverted to Byrd, and the building was purchased in 1977 by the government of Dallas County. After renovating the lower five floors of the building for use as county government offices, the Dallas County Administration Building was dedicated on March 29, 1981. On President's Day 1989, the sixth floor opened to the public (for an admission charge) as the Sixth Floor Museum of assassination-related exhibits. On President's Day 2002, the seventh floor gallery opened.
On May 4, 2010 burglars attempted to steal a safe from the Sixth Floor Museum, but fled when "they were confronted by a security guard", leaving the unopened safe suspended from a winch on the back of a truck.
See also 
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (1963), Warren Commission (1964), United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (1979).
- Texas State Historical Association (2012). "The Handbook of Texas Online: Texas School Book Depository". Tshaonline.org. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
- Bugliosi, Vincent (2007). Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 1455. ISBN 978-0-393-04525-3.
- Trahan, Jason (May 5, 2010). "Theft of safe at Sixth Floor Museum visitors center thwarted". The Dallas Morning News.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Texas School Book Depository|
- Murder Perch to Museum: A History of the Texas School Book Depository
- Official property ownership record from the Dallas Central Appraisal District